Langer wins Senior Players Championship in playoff

By Associated PressJune 29, 2014, 10:17 pm

PITTSBURGH -- Bernhard Langer made a short birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Jeff Sluman to win the Senior Players Championship on Sunday.

Langer appeared to be in trouble when his second shot on the par-5 18th ended up in the rough short of the green. He hit a brilliant pitch to 5 feet and made the putt after Sluman's birdie attempt rolled just wide.

The victory was the 56-year-old Langer's third of the year and his third major title on the Champions Tour. The two-time Masters champion shot an even-par 70 to finish at 15-under 265 at Fox Chapel.

Sluman had a bogey-free 65 to match Langer, but narrowly missed a birdie putt on the first playoff hole that would have won it.

Russ Cochran, who trailed by seven shots early in the final round, had a 67 to finish third at 14 under.

Defending champion Kenny Perry tied Langer for the lead heading into the back nine, but faded badly over the closing holes. Perry's 69 left him two shots out of the playoff.

Langer nearly missed out on the playoff himself. He fought a balky putter much of the day only to hole a 35-foot birdie putt on the 17th that lifted him into a tie with Sluman. The normally reserved German pumped his fist in disbelief after the ball dropped into the cup. He parred 18 to match Sluman at 15 under and escaped one more time when Sluman's birdie attempt on the first playoff hole burned the right edge.



Sluman, the 1988 PGA champion, covered his hands in disbelief after the putt stayed out. Langer didn't let the reprieve go to waste, birdieing the 18th on his third try to earn his first major title on the 50-and-over circuit since the 2010 Senior British Open.

It didn't come easy for a player who started the day with a comfortable three-shot advantage over Perry.

The steady play that kept Langer atop the leaderboard for the better part of 54 holes abandoned him early in the round, opening the door for the rest of the field. Langer missed a short par putt at the par-4 fourth, and he turned the 295-yard par-4 seventh into an adventure when his pitch sailed over the green and his 5-foot comebacker for par popped off the back edge of the cup.

Perry, who promised to go into ''attack mode'' to chase down his good friend, had little trouble tracking Langer down. He pulled even with a birdie at the seventh and did it again at the ninth, when he bounced back from a bogey at the eighth by holing out from a greenside bunker for birdie.

A back-nine duel, however, never materialized. Both players started spraying shots - including an ugly double bogey for Langer at the par-4 12th - while Sluman quietly went about his business in the group ahead.

Sluman slowly reeled in the front-runners, taking the lead with a birdie on the par-4 14th and adding another at the par-4 16th while Perry and Langer faltered behind him.

The streaky Perry, trying to join Arnold Palmer as the only player to win consecutive Senior Players titles, cooled as the pressure mounted. He shot 3-over 38 on the back, failing to make a single birdie down the stretch as the crisp iron game that vaulted him into contention vanished.

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.



Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."